Republic of Bolivia

República de Bolivia

CAPITAL : La Paz (administrative capital); Sucre (legal and judicial capital)

FLAG : The flag is a horizontal tricolor of red (top), yellow, and green stripes.

ANTHEM : Himno Nacional, beginning "Bolivianos, el hado propicio coronó nuestros volos anhelos" ("Bolivians, propitious fate crowned our outcries of yearning.")

MONETARY UNIT : The boliviano ( B ) was introduced on 1 January 1987, replacing the peso at a rate of P 1,000,000 = B 1. There are coins of 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 boliviano and notes of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 bolivianos. B 1 = $0.1314 (or $1 = B 7.61) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some Spanish weights are still used in retail trade.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; National Festival, 5–7 August; Columbus Day, 12 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable holidays include Carnival, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Corpus Christi.

TIME : 8 AM = noon GMT.


Spanish, Quechua, and Aymará are all official languages. About 40% of Bolivians speak Spanish as a mother tongue. As spoken by educated Bolivians, it differs less from Castilian than do the dialects of many regions in Spain itself. Approximately 37% of the people still speak Quechua and 24% speak Aymará, although an increasing number of Amerindians also speak Spanish.


As of 2002, armed strength totaled 31,500 personnel. The army numbered 25,000, the navy 3,500, and the air force 3,000. The paramilitary consisted of a national police force of 31,100 and a narcotics police force of 6,000. Bolivia participated in three UN and peacekeeping missions. Defense expenditures in 1999 were $147 million, or 1.8% of the GDP.


Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, having joined on 14 November 1945, and participates in CCC, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA, MERCOSUR (associate), MONUC, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, and WTrO.


Fishing is a minor activity in Bolivia. A few varieties of fish are caught in Lake Titicaca by centuries-old methods and sent to La Paz. The catch was 6,106 tons in 2000. Bolivia has some of the world's largest rainbow trout, and Bolivian lakes are well stocked for sport fishing.


Bolivia has no territories or colonies.


Alexander, Robert Jackson. The Bolivarian Presidents: Conversations and Correspondence with Presidents of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1994.

Blair, David Nelson. The Land and People of Bolivia. New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1990.

Crandon–Malamud, Libbet. From the Fat of Our Souls: Social Change, Political Process, and Medical Pluralism in Bolivia. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.

Gallo, Carmenza. Taxes and State Power: Political Instability in Bolivia, 1900–1950. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.

Garretón, Manuel Antonio, and Edward Newman, eds. Democracy in Latin America: (Re)constructing Political Society. New York: United Nations University Press, 2001.

Gill, Lesley. Precarious Dependencies: Gender, Class, and Domestic Service in Bolivia. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.

Herndon, William Lewis. Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon, 1851–1852. New York: Grove Press, 2000.

Hudson, Rex A. and Dennis M. Hanratty. Bolivia, a Country Study, 3rd ed. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1991.

Klein, Herbert S. Bolivia: the Evolution of a Multi–ethnic Society, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Morales, Waltraud Q. Bolivia: Land of Struggle. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1992.

Sanabria, Harry. The Coca Boom and Rural Social Change in Bolivia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993.

Also read article about Bolivia from Wikipedia

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Sylvia R Colon
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